Reps. O’Halleran, Lynch Lead Letter to OMB Requesting Compliance with Ethics Rules

May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) sent a letter, signed by 58 additional members of Congress, to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney expressing concern and disapproval over the Trump Administration’s refusal to publicly disclose ethics waivers for high-ranking officials.

“During my time as a law enforcement officer and throughout my career, I always put my faith in ethics and the rule of law,” said Congressman O’Halleran. “I am disappointed to see the Trump Administration’s disregard for longstanding ethics rules that provide transparency and accountability to the American people. We should be focused on fighting corruption in Washington; not encouraging it.”

“Alongside my colleague Congressman O’Halleran, we are requesting that the Trump Administration comply with the Office of Government Ethics upcoming deadline for disclosure of ethics waivers. The Trump Administration’s brazen opposition to ethic transparency hinders oversight by the OGE as well as decreases public confidence in the executive branch,” said Congressman Lynch. “I am also introducing legislation to require the Administration to disclose to the OGE any ethics waivers covering political appointees within 30 days of issuance as well as publicly posting these waivers for review by the American people.”

Following recent reports that political appointees within the Trump Administration received secret ethics waivers, a violation of ethics rules, the Office of Government Ethics requested copies of all waivers. In response, the White House sent a letter to the OGE, asking that the request be withdrawn and challenging the legal authority of the office to request information.

“As Members of Congress, we are committed and bound to ensuring the American public has faith in the institutions that serve them – that includes upholding our ethics rules to keep conflicts of interest out of the highest levels of our government,” wrote the group of lawmakers. “To that end, we urge you to immediately comply with OGE’s original request to deliver all copies of waivers issued to appointees by the original June 1 deadline.”

The text of the letter is available here